Martel’s “The Life of Pi” is a coming of age story about a young man’s reaching maturity through tragic but uplifting story of loss and miraculous survival. The story is based on a journey which contains adventure, tradgedy, humour, and also the survival of the fittest mentality. Yann Martel depicts a story of a youth who seeks knowledge, wisdom, connectivity, and spirituality through religeon and zoology. Applying the craft’s he has practiced and is taught, protagonist Pi Patel seeks survival on a stranded boat with an orrangatang, a tiger, an injured zebra and a hyena.
Yann Martel’s tail starts off with Pi chronicaling his life in India in a city called “Pondicherriy”. Pi is a student, he characterizes his life through zoology, and religeon. His father is an owner of a zoo in India and he teaches his sons (Pi, and Ravi) the livliness and the demeanor of the animals. Pi takes precaution and listens too what is said and learns how to control and care for the wild animals in the zoo. Later on in the story, his experiences and what he is taught becomes a valuable asset in his survival.
Actively he has been practicing the hindu religeon ever since he was born, but his curiousity and act of innocence is lead too to him experiencing a few more religeons. He questions the spirituality, the beliefs, and explores the religeous practicing of Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. The thing that is interchangeable too Pi in contrast too these three religeons is the belief and value that they have preserved for God. They all worship god and too him its miracoulous because as he is confronted about why he is practicing 3 religeons at once his response is “I just want god”. Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims”. (Martel, 2002) His belief is that all three religeons encompass love and devotion too god. This act of innocence is considered a taboo all around the world, although as humans we are free spirited and there shouldnt be any prohibition too practice more than one religeon. Pi in a sense is expanding his knowledge and wisdom in his act of practice these three religeons. “Science investigates religion interprets.
Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control. ” (King, 1964) As the story progresses, we learn that Pi’s family is moving to Canada and they have too get rid of all the animals. They sell some of the animals too other zoos around the country, but Pi is bittersweet and unhappy about this transition of India to Canada. On the other hand when he is on the Japanese cargo vessel the Tsimtsum, he is excited and also nervous about his journey to Toronto. There is a castrophe which occurs as the ship is hit by a storm and the ship starts too sink.
Pi is the only survivor along with a wounded Zebra, an orrangatang, Hyena, and a 450 lb Bengal tiger. As there is minimal supply of food on the cargo, the animals battle it out for hunger by eating one another. The Hyena prevails for the longest time as he devours the Zebra, and the Orrangatan but only too be jumped and consumed by the Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Pi knows that he is next too go, as there is already a shortage of food and water supplies Pi has to rewind too his teaching on animals and get the courage deep down in him too survive this challenge.
Pi is a spirutal and optimist character because he is just hoping for the best and he envisions that his brother, father, and his mother are still out there well and alive, and theirs a is a search team looking for him. The reality is starting too sink in his head and he is realizing that this isnt a dream, and everything around him thats happening is actually reality. “Richard Parker, can you believe what has happened to us? Tell me it’s a bad dream. Tell me it’s not real. Tell me I’m still in my bunk on the Tsimtsum and I’m tossing and turning and soon I’ll wake up from this nightmare.
Tell me I’m still happy. Mother, my tender guardian angel of wisdom, where are you? And you, Father, my loving worrywart? And you, Ravi, dazzling hero of my childhood? Vishnu preserve me, Allah protect me, Christ save me, I can’t bear it! ” (Martel, 2002) At this point its Pi against the world, and as it is in the animal kingdom only the strong survive”. He will have too overcome all these challenges and obstacles he is faced with too be the king of the jungle or simply the king on the boat.
The scriptures and the Bibles Pi has read throughout his life are the manifestation of the present. His faith and good will is tested as he experiences struggles, pain, death, and suffering. (Olson, 2005) The greatest task is about too occur for Pi Patel. For now the Richard Parker is listed bottom of the food chain as he trains and accomodates him by food, water, and most importantly staying out of his way. He built a raft which he had refuged on for a long period of time. He made it out of four buoyant oars, some life jackets, and buoyant ropes.
He made his own little refuge station due too the fact that Richard Parker is also a beat on the boat and he has too stay out of his path. For Pi too stay alive he has too kill, killing is a huge sin in the Hinduism religeon as all animals are sacred. Too Pi it was it was the last resort he had to condone this act in order too survive. Born a vegitarian, Pi has never killed any animals but for the time being he has too hunt for fish, drink turtle blood, and anything else which he can salvage too stay alive and be healthy. Is Pi’s faith still as strong as it was in the beginning?
At some points it isnt as he loses hope due too another storm that occurs which destructs more of the ship and also his raft which sinks into the ocean. A lot of the food and supplies are lost due too this storm, but one whistle remains. The whistle the only object which will empower Pi over Richard Parker. With so much loss of hope Pi writes “I Die” in his diary as he is preparing for his death. For a span of 3 days Pi and Richard Parker are dehydrated and havent consumed any food at all. With no consumption of food or any liquid both of them go blind.
Pi starts too hallucinate and hears a voice of whom he thinks is Richard Parker talking but its actually of another man who has intentions of cannabalizing him, but relluctantly he is saved by Richard Parker as he kills and starts too consume the frenchman. “I tried to hold him back. Alas, it was too late. Before I could say the word alone, I was alone again. I heard the merest clicking of claws against the bottom of the boat. No more than the sound of a pair of spectacles falling to the floor, and the next moment my dear brother shrieked in my face like I’ve never heard a man shriek before.
He let go of me” (Martel, 2002) Throughout the course of the story, Pi’s faith and relevancy of God is the biggest key too his survival. Its a psycological aspect of a human being because everyone needs a saviour and it can be our parents, animals, or simply God. “Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control. ” (King, 1964) Pi regains conciousness and hope as he jumps aboard on the frenchmans ship and seiezes the remains of food and water, and rehydrates himself and Richard Parker.
As they streer their way on the ocean Pi sees a low lying island which is filled with trees, algea, Meerkats, and veggiterian delights which are edible, Pi and Richard parker consume as much as they can to revive their strength too 100%. Back on sail, Pi crosses a Island which turns out too be Mexico and Richard Parker gets out of the boat and run into the jungle and never too be seen again. In Mexico Pi is rescued and is questioned about how the ship sank. Pi tells them the story about him being on a boat with a Bengal Tiger and the officers think Pi’s story is futile and untrue.
Later on, Pi tells them another story which the officers believe is true which is of Pi who is on a ship with a French chef, his mother, and a wounded sailer. The chef had killed and ate the sailor, than killed his mother, and than finally Pi had killed the chef. “I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality”.
I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality”. (Martel, 2001, p. 381). Pi’s whole survival was because of Zoology and his strong faith in God. He captivated his lessons and brung them upfront and executed his mission of controlling Richard Parker and his strong will and determination made him see another day of light.